background preloader

Allotropes of Oxygen

Facebook Twitter

There are several known allotropes of oxygen. The most familiar is molecular oxygen (O2), present at significant levels in Earth's atmosphere and also known as dioxygen or triplet oxygen. Another is the highly reactive ozone (O3). Others include:

Atomic oxygen (O1, a free radical).

Singlet oxygen (O2*), either of two metastable states of molecular oxygen.
Tetraoxygen (O4), another metastable form.
Solid oxygen, existing in six variously colored phases, of which one is O
8 and another one metallic. Allotropes of oxygen. There are several known allotropes of oxygen.

Allotropes of oxygen

The most familiar is molecular oxygen (O2), present at significant levels in Earth's atmosphere and also known as dioxygen or triplet oxygen. Another is the highly reactive ozone (O3). Others include: Atomic oxygen[edit] Atomic oxygen, denoted O(3P), O(3P) or O((3)P),[1] is very reactive, as the single atoms of oxygen tend to quickly bond with nearby molecules; on Earth's surface it does not exist naturally for very long, though in outer space, the presence of plenty of ultraviolet radiation results in a low Earth orbit atmosphere in which 96% of the oxygen occurs in atomic form.[1][2] Dioxygen[edit] The common allotrope of elemental oxygen on Earth, O 2, is generally known as oxygen, but may be called dioxygen or molecular oxygen to distinguish it from the element itself. Atomic Oxygen.


Ozone. Ozone /ˈoʊzoʊn/ (systematically named 1λ1,3λ1-trioxidane and μ-oxidodioxygen), or trioxygen, is an inorganic molecule with the chemical formula O 3(μ-O) (also written [O(μ-O)O] or O 3).


It is a pale blue gas with a distinctively pungent smell. It is an allotrope of oxygen that is much less stable than the diatomic allotrope O 2, breaking down in the lower atmosphere to normal dioxygen. Ozone is formed from dioxygen by the action of ultraviolet light and also atmospheric electrical discharges, and is present in low concentrations throughout the Earth's atmosphere.

In total, ozone makes up only 0.6 ppm of the atmosphere. Ozone's odor is sharp, reminiscent of chlorine, and detectable by many people at concentrations of as little as 10 ppb in air. Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation.

Nomenclature[edit] The trivial name ozone is the most commonly used and preferred IUPAC name. Tetraoxygen. Absorption bands of the O4 molecule e.g. at 360, 477 and 577 nm are frequently used to do aerosol inversions in atmospheric optical absorption spectroscopy.


Due to the known distribution of O2 and therefore also O4, O4 slant column densities can be used to retrieve aerosol profiles which can then be used again in radiative transfer models to model light paths.[6] Free molecule[edit] Theoretical calculations have predicted the existence of metastable O4 molecules with two different shapes: a "puckered" square like cyclobutane or S4,[7] and a "pinwheel" with three oxygen atoms surrounding a central one in a trigonal planar formation similar to boron trifluoride.[8][9] It was previously pointed out that the "pinwheel" O4 molecule should be the natural continuation of the isoelectronic series BO3− 3, CO2− 3, NO− 3,[10] and analogous to SO3; that observation served as the basis for the mentioned theoretical calculations. Solid oxygen. Oxygen molecules have attracted attention because of the relationship between the molecular magnetization and crystal structures, electronic structures, and superconductivity.

Solid oxygen

Oxygen is the only one of the simple diatomic molecules (and one of the few molecules in general) to carry a magnetic moment.[1] This makes solid oxygen particularly interesting, as it is considered a 'spin-controlled' crystal[1] that displays antiferromagnetic magnetic order in the low temperature phases. For papers dealing with the magnetic properties of solid oxygen we refer to magnetisation of condensed oxygen under high pressures and in strong magnetic fields by R.J. Meier, C.J. Schinkel and A. de Visser, J. Phys. Phases[edit] Red oxygen[edit] In this phase it exhibits a dark-red color, very strong infrared absorption, and a magnetic collapse.[1] It is also stable over a very large pressure domain and has been the subject of numerous X-ray diffraction, spectroscopic and theoretical studies.